The Latest: Veterans Affairs mum on veterans' court filing

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Posted: Dec 11, 2017 5:18 PM
The Latest: Veterans Affairs mum on veterans' court filing

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The Latest on veterans seeking a class action lawsuit against the Department of Veterans Affairs over radiation exposure they say they experienced after a 1966 accident involving hydrogen bombs in Spain (all times local):

5:15 p.m.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs says it can't comment on a class action lawsuit being sought by veterans who say they responded to a 1966 accident involving U.S. hydrogen bombs in Spain and then became ill from radiation exposure.

Yale Law School students in Connecticut on Monday filed a request with the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims on behalf of veterans denied VA disability benefits. A VA spokesman says the VA has not seen the filing and can't address it.

On Jan. 17, 1966, a U.S. B-52 bomber and a refueling plane crashed into each other near the Spanish village of Palomares, releasing four hydrogen bombs and scattering highly radioactive plutonium 239.

Servicemen sent to clean the contamination say they developed cancers and blood disorders but were denied disability benefits.

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12:50 p.m.

A federal appeals court has been asked to allow a class-action lawsuit against the Veterans Affairs Department by veterans who say they became ill from radiation exposure after responding to a 1966 accident involving U.S. hydrogen bombs in Spain.

Yale Law School students in Connecticut filed the request Monday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims on behalf of veterans who sought disability benefits from the VA but were denied.

The students represent Air Force veteran Victor Skaar, of Nixa, Missouri, and want to expand the lawsuit to include other veterans.

VA officials did not immediately return messages Monday.

Radioactive plutonium was released near Palomares, Spain, in January 1966, after a U.S. B-52 bomber and refueling plane crashed. Four hydrogen bombs crashed, but there were no nuclear explosions.